One of the potentially fair reasons for dismissal under section 98 of the ERA 1996 which the employer must establish to show that an employee was not unfairly dismissed. Misconduct may be either a single act of serious misconduct or a series of acts that are less serious. For a dismissal to be fair on the grounds of conduct, it must be established that:
At the time of dismissal, the employer believed the employee to be guilty of misconduct. The burden of showing that there is a potentially fair reason for the dismissal lies with the employer. At the time of dismissal, the employer had reasonable grounds for believing that the employee was guilty of that misconduct. This goes to the question of reasonableness under section 98(4) of ERA 1996 and the burden of proof is neutral.
At the time that the employer formed that belief on those grounds, it had carried out as much investigation as was reasonable in the circumstances. Again, this goes to the question of reasonableness under section 98(4) of ERA 1996 and the burden of proof is neutral.